The print media is working through a number of challenges; the industry is changing, there is a fair amount of major player consolidation and printing presses are increasingly reducing the number of titles being fed through them.
But, in spite of all this gloom and doom, the print media is transforming itself, its content sources, distribution frequency, and revenue opportunities. Excluding advertising, print content is sourced from news services on either an international, national, or local level. At the local level, this is from staff or freelance authors. …and this is where your print opportunities exist.
Much like how printed catalogues have not been replaced by online advertising (as was predicted), print media will remain part of the advertising landscape for some time to come. But unlike paid print advertisements, there is a way of getting your name into the paper without paying for it.
Targeting your major city newspapers gives you broad coverage, but aiming for your community papers (which are typically independently owned) will give you a local and a more targeted audience.
Typically, the following should be absolute must do’s for unpaid print media advertising:
PRESS RELEASE A press release does not need to be ground breaking; changes to product offerings, store renovations etc are all candidates for a press release to your local newspaper. The worst that will happen is that the release will not be printed in full or in part….but it might get printed. If you are concerned on the format of your press release then don’t be. A press release is a letter with the PRESS RELEASE words as the subject. If you are still concerned about layout then GOOGLE it or contact KNUCKLES Advertising.
EVENT ASSOCIATION Connect your products or services or your business to a current news worthy event. The press coverage of the event may just get you the coverage that you want. Obviously if you are promoting yourself as a wholesome family orientated business then you may want to reconsider an association with the annual SEXPO event.
LETTERS TO THE EDITOR This forum can become an effective forum. Write in about a current news item that you feel passionate about. If published, your business name will be included. However, passion can polarise people. Whilst you may think that you have taken the correct stance, there will be others that may find your comments and observations as freaky, obscene, or just plain wrong. Best to avoid an online brawl if it looks like it is heading down this path. Sometimes it is safe being beige, but the return is not as high.
FIELD EXPERT As you build relationships with your local media organisations, they will increasingly see you as a field expert. Being able to draw on your expertise will make the journalist’s job easier. Every time you are quoted, you and your business will be identified. It will not take too long before you become the go-to guy person for information. You will become the expert.